Thursday, June 28, 2012

Makes you wish you were convalescing...

Some friends of ours had a baby recently and Jeremy got signed up on the list to bring them a meal. Tuesday was our day and Jeremy went all out (of course).

 He started with a medley of dried mushrooms. I don't think he actually dried them, I think they dried on the logs. These are shiitake, oyster, and nameko (all grown by Jeremy). He thinks they look beautiful - I think it looks a little.... gross. (You know you're a mushroom farmer when...)


 Then he sauteed them (most likely in some bacon fat)

 Then tossed them in (store-bought, the horror!) crust along with sauteed onions and some chunks of cheese.  Gruyere maybe? I can't remember.


 Then in goes the egg mixture, then bake, and voila!

We also heated up half a baguette (store-bought) and Jeremy cooked up a bunch of kale from our garden with sesame seeds, sesame oil, and some garlic. He can never make enough of this stuff to make me happy.


 And finally a little package of homegrown raspberries from our yard.

Our friends were very happy to receive their dinner (though I think it was all mostly too weird for their 1 1/2 year old).

 Kind of make you wish you were convalescing and needed someone to cook you dinner?

Monday, June 25, 2012

So many berries

Our berries are doing quite well this year (except our blueberries of course - not a sign of them at all!).

A couple weekends ago Jeremy made pancakes for breakfast and I went out and picked raspberries and strawberries for topping.  It seems the tulle netting has worked well and we are getting lots of strawberries all to ourselves.

Nothing seems to eat the raspberries and there are tons of them. Black, red, and golden. I picked a lot Saturday and made a big cobbler out of them.

It looks nice, but the biscuits didn't rise much or turn out like they should have. Oh well - throw some whipped cream on and everything tastes better!

We have discovered though, one of the absolute best things to do with raspberries is make ice cream. Wow, that is some tasty delicious stuff!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The secret to success

I think the secret to growing food really well is not liking it.

Case in point: we grew wine cap mushrooms last year and did not like them at all. Now they are growing all over the place, spreading far beyond where they were planted. At least they look pretty.

The other thing is ground cherries. They look like tomatillos, little berries that grow in papery husks and are sweet. They're not bad, but they weren't our favorite. I think we had two or three plants on top of the terrace. Now we have ground cherry plants popping up EVERYWHERE. They're in all the garden beds and more. It's really quite amazing.

Maybe if we focus on not liking tomatoes our tomato plants will start growing!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

chicky pics

Aren't they just so adorable!?! Poor mama hen: we like to go peek on the babies all the time and she is still not all that happy about it.
Looks like there are still some unhatched eggs under her - I'm guessing they're all white ones. Those silver leghorns... let's just say they won't engage in any funny business with the rooster!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


This morning when Jeremy went out to open up the coop he heard some mad peeping and there were babies!
We have been wondering how this would go: the nest is up kinda high in the hen house and I don't know how the babies are going to get up and down from that spot. So when Jeremy went out there one of the chicks was down on the floor peeping away - and probably a bit chilly. She/he must have fallen out of the nest. I'm glad the rooster and hens didn't gobbler her up or step on her. =/

Jeremy spent the morning building a little platform and ramp so they could have food and water close by and, maybe, be able to get down if they wanted. But so far they are staying put under mama hen. We've only seen evidence of two chicks - and it sounds like there are more than a dozen eggs under mama still. So we'll see how many more hatch.

Pictures soon!

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Before a whole lot of people go crazy, I am not expecting! Our chickens are! (But yes, I put that subject line in anyway just for the response. =)

Anyway, up until a few weeks ago I was thinking how funny it was that in all our chicken years we'd never had a broody chicken. Ever. And then one day I went out to check eggs, rather late, and there was a chicken on the nest. That seemed odd to me. Maybe she was sick?
But she was there again the next day. It slowly dawned on me that she was broody! And boy do broody chickens protect their eggs! Just check out what happens when you try to peek in:

The poor thing was kicked out of the nest by the other birds for several days running because they wanted to lay in the box too. So the eggs kind of piled up under her. I think there are at least a dozen, if not more. You may remember the chickens preferred not to use the other nest boxes in the chicken annex. Jeremy hung up a "privacy curtain" in front of those other nest boxes and voila! They started using the other nest boxes. So now our mean mama is left in peace.

I'm sure it has been three weeks since she went broody. I didn't write down the actual date so it could be more or less. So either she's going to hatch those eggs out any moment now, or we have an infertile rooster. We shall see. But in the meantime, between Jeremy and I, that poor hen is checked on three or four times a day! And she is usually not very happy about it.

This is a rather happy subject for my 400th post on this blog. I'm sure if I'd been blogging more regularly in the last year I would have reached 400 long ago. Oh well. We can only do the best we can do, right?

Keep your fingers crossed that we get some baby chicks - 'cause how cute would that be!? Of course then we'll have to sell or give them away because we really don't need more than 20 chickens!!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Harvest time

Harvest time around here actually began a couple weeks ago when the first few snap peas were ready to eat. But then on May 30th (or 31st) I ate our first raspberry. I'm sure that must be a record for Minnesota!
We have a big plantation of this Korean Gold, which I think is the best tasting raspberry of any variety.

This is going to be an amazing year for raspberries. These are our red and black ones out front:

We've also had our first few strawberries!

 Actually, a stupid squirrel got the first one. Grr! After that I made good on my plans and put up tulle (a kind of fabric) all the way around the bed. Something got in and made off with another berry or two and this time I think it was a rabbit. An adorable little bunny (and I mean little!) has been hopping about our yard looking adorable and scared and wreaking havoc on everything. It chowed down on one of our tomato plants. Grr. Anyway, I stapled the netting even more and we've been able to keep our strawberries to ourselves. They are tasty!

Also sometime in the last week or two I got an email about some extra apple trees. I jumped on that opportunity! We went over and picked up a 5-foot tall bare-root Honeycrisp. I went to work digging a hole in the back yard for it, trying to find enough composted material and good dirt to put back in the pit of sand I had dug out (ack! I hope the thing grows!). But after only a week or so the tree has leafed out and has flowers!

It is also cherry harvesting time. I'm not sure how much we've picked at this point; maybe 10 pounds? My brother picked a large bowl on Monday or Tuesday this last week and Jeremy just finished picking another large bowl. At the risk of tempting fate, the birds have STILL not discovered our two cherry trees. We are lucky. And for those who remember (uh...that is if I actually even blogged about it!) the little sucker we saved last year is doing very well. It's already about 4 or 5 feet tall now and even set a handful of cherries this year. I have high hopes of it taking over for the last part of the old tree when it dies.